Archive | Inspiring Stories RSS feed for this section

Poosh Versus Goop

17 Apr

Poosh and Goop sound like baby talk, but it’s the lifestyle blogs of two celebrities. Kourtney Kardashian just launched Poosh. and Gwyneth Paltrow is the brainchild behind Goop. They both are online magazines espousing health, wellness and living the best life.

Poosh began a few weeks ago, and there is some interesting content like non-toxic sheets and organizing your pantry. I like the mission statement of educate, motivate, create and curate. The photos of Kourtney always seem to have sexy vibe. (I guess that’s typical Kardashian style.)

Goop is the the established brand with followers known as “goopies.” CNN reports that the Goop is valued at $250 million. They delve into the website here, which is not all positive.  Again, I liked the content with stories explaining glycolic acid, interesting skin products and the ultimate white T-shirt. Gwyneth is working it with cookbooks, podcasts and more.

So, who is the next celebrity to launch an online magazine?

 

 

 

 

Photo credits: Instagram (left); etonline (right)

Advertisements

Not My Fault

10 Apr

How many times have you said, “It’s not my fault!” For me, it’s too many to count, but Cathy Guisewite, the creator of the comic strip “Cathy,” counts out 50 through 50 heart-warming essays.

Her book, 50 Things that Aren’t my Fault (G.P. Putnman’s Sons), was just released on April 2. It’s as if you are speaking with your friends –maybe confiding is a better word.

Who hasn’t dreaded going shopping for bathing suits? Or failed at a diet?  Cathy Guisewite tackles the subjects of aging parents, food, exercise, make-up, growing older, stress, parenting, mother/daughter relationships and so much more.

Her essays are laugh-out loud and filled with warmth and wit.  She describes herself not as the sandwich generation but the “panini” generation.  It’s hilarious how she tries to cheat on her Fitbit fitness tracker and poignant how she flunked retirement.

Here’s a snippet tucked between some essays:

Top Five Reasons I Didn’t Exercise Today

  1.  I don’t want to admit how easy it would have been to start ten years ago.
  2.  I feel too fat.
  3.  It’s too confusing to pick my activity.
  4.  I can’t find a hair tie.
  5.  I exercised yesterday and I don’t look any different.

I’ve heard Cathy Guisewite speak in Michigan years ago about her comic strip. She was absolutely delightful. She will be on book tour and hopefully your city will be listed. Check it out at www.cathyguisewite.com

50 Things that Aren’t my Fault  just could be the perfect Mother’s Day gift this year.

 

 

Hey Friends: Brand Makeup for Less

5 Mar

Friends who love friends share makeup. Just ask founders and friends Vivian Wang (right) and Jackie Xu of the internet site gofriendshop.com

It’s a buy more, save more concept. The more items you choose, the more you save. The best part is you can purchase the makeup & skincare with a friend and both save, because the items you tally up together count for the discount. (Buy 2–5% off, Buy 4–15% off, Buy 8–30% off)

Gofriendshop.com offers all brand names. They purchase close-outs and department store excess. But the brands are all authentic like Urban Decay, Nars, Laura Mercier, Benefit, Clinique, Lancome and more.

Wang and Xu are two savvy entrepreneurs. Wang was a former senior strategist at Gap, while Xu was an engineer at Stripe.

It’s a start-up that began four months ago, and right now it’s in the soft launch phase. But it’s destined to do well, with some powerful Silicon Valley financial backing and a site founded by and run by women.

Motownsavvy hopes to partner and review products.

What woman doesn’t want makeup at a discount price? Get 20% off your first purchase at gofriendshop.com with code “MOTOWN” here: http://bit.ly/MOTOWN2

Book Launch: The Secret of Clouds

26 Feb

Last week I met the author Alyson Richman on the day her novel, The Secret of Clouds, was launched. She spoke at the JCC in Palm Beach Gardens and is currently on a book tour.

Since no one read the book, she spoke about her background and how she gathers her ideas. The Secret of Clouds is about a the special bond that can develop between and a teacher and a student. At the book talk, Richman related the story of how one third grade teacher has each student write a letter to their eighteen-year-old self and mails it upon graduation. You can hear this inspirational story  here.

Richman also related some facts about her book The Lost Wife, which will made into a movie. Richman overheard the story while at the hairdressers about star-crossed lovers who marry during World War II. They become separated during the Nazi invasion, and they believed their partner was dead.  They see each other again, decades later, at their grandchildren’s wedding. That true, powerful story became the basis of her novel.

I also learned that Richman’s father is an electrical engineer and her mother is an artist. From what I see by glancing through the book, she has the precision of her father and the gift of painting with words– not on a canvas but in a book.

I can’t wait to read The Secret of Clouds and The Lost Wife.

 

Investing in Women

14 Dec

 

Want to make a social impact with your everyday purchases? Then, read the book Buy the Change you Want to See, by Jane Mosbacher Morris. (The book will be published at the end of January by Penguin Random House.) Morris is the CEO of To the Market that sells products from women artisans in vulnerable communities. She works with 100 suppliers from more than 20 countries.

Morris educates consumers on how thoughtful purchases can transform lives. She explains the second largest industry in the developing world is the artisan arena — sewers, beaders, leather makers, etc. To the Market connects artisans to factories to buyers. The ripple effect of purchasing a product from a country like Haiti can create positive change and economically empower several people.

 

I had the opportunity to hear Jane speak at the Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches (JWF) event Imagine the Possibilities in West Palm Beach. (Disclosure: I was the co-chair)

The event theme was Investing in Women as the mission of the Foundation and the book align perfectly. The Jewish Women’s Foundation mission advances the status of women through strategic grantmaking, education and leadership development. It’s an inclusive organization that seeks to improve the lives of all women and girls regardless of background, religion or socioeconomic status.

In the photo, Jane Mosbacher Morris is in the middle, while I’m on the left and my daughter-in-law Jessica Rocher Schwartz is on the right.

Brutalist Style in Motown

20 Nov

Shane Pliska lives in a glass house. He wakes at dawn and spends hours gazing out of his windows at a forest and a pond. Snapping turtles lay eggs on his yard, and fawns sleep right below his deck. But this isn’t Walden Pond. It’s a suburban cul-de-sac in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

“It’s changed my life,” says Mr. Pliska, 38, president of a family-owned plant and interior-landscaping company. “It gives me clarity of mind.”

The house, which was built in 1956, wasn’t for sale. So he asked a real-estate agent to keep a close watch. When the home was listed—and marketed as a teardown—Mr. Pliska immediately offered $5,000 over the asking price and bought it in 2012 for $230,000.

The home, a 1,890-square-foot glass-and-wood rectangular box on 1.3 acres, was designed by Edwin William de Cossy, a former instructor at Yale University who had studied under Paul Rudolph, known for his Brutalist style. The cost of construction at the time: $30,000.

To better understand the architect’s vision, Mr. Pliska traveled by train to Connecticut to meet Mr. de Cossy, who was wearing a tie and white racing gloves when he picked him up at the New Canaan train station in a vintage black Mercedes. Over lunch, Mr. de Cossy explained that the style of the house was partly influenced by his work on modern homes in Florida in the 1950s and partly by the time he’d spent hanging out with Philip Johnson at his Glass House in New Canaan. “It’s a dream site,” says Mr. de Cossy, 89, adding that he built it originally for his brother-in-law, Leo Calhoun, who owned a Ford dealership outside Detroit.

Mr. Pliska lived in the house without changing anything for about two years. Then one stormy night, he heard a loud boom and felt shaking as a giant oak tree punctured his flat roof. The redwood roof beams saved the house from complete collapse.


 A modern Italian Scavalini kitchen inside Shane Pliska’s home in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
PHOTOS: BRIAN KELLY PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 Mr. Pliska bought the 1,890-square-foot glass-and-wood rectangular box on 1.3 acres in 2012 for $230,000.
“It was in a pretty sad state,” says Roman Bonislawski, the co-owner of Birmingham, Mich.-based architectural firm Ron & Roman who led the $300,000 renovation, which took two years to complete. The project includes new windows, replacing the cork flooring with slate in the living-room conversation pit, redoing the bathrooms and bumping out the master bedroom to add a small balcony. Mr. Pliska picked a modern Italian Scavalini kitchen (paying a discounted $35,000 because it was a floor model) with reflective avocado-green glass cabinets and put in new decks made of composite materials in front and out back.

What didn’t change was Mr. de Cossy’s fundamental design. The house is raised on a pedestal with redwood beams that cantilever out from below on all four sides and on top to hold up the roof, giving it a floating illusion. All the rooms are visible from the exterior except the bathrooms, one of which is enclosed by the kitchen wall and the other by the fireplace chimney.

The younger Mr. Pliska oversaw the building of a new glass-enclosed headquarters with a plant-adorned courtyard that doubles as a wedding-venue business. “He really changed things,” says Larry Pliska, 72, who still works there.

Shane Pliska’s neighborhood has also changed: It was once a laboratory for modern design, inspired by the nearby art academy Cranbrook, which owns the Eliel Saarinen Art Deco-style Saarinen House. Now, existing houses are torn down to make way for large new structures that Mr. Pliska calls “Barbie castles.”

Still, some Midcentury Modern homeowners there have tried to preserve an element of the past, gathering regularly for cocktails to admire each other’s architecture and discuss design. Neighbor Nancy Lockhart says one thing about Mr. Pliska’s house remains unchanged: A feral tabby cat cared for by the former owner, an artist named Fern Tate, still sleeps under the house and roams the neighborhood. They take turns feeding the cat, which they named Fern.

In the early 1950s, fresh out of the army with no college education, Edwin William de Cossy started designing modern homes in St. Petersburg, Fla. His work caught the eye of Paul Rudolph, who became one of the central figures of postwar American architecture, and the two began collaborating.

Mr. de Cossy earned a degree in architecture from Yale University in 1957, where he later became an instructor. As a principal with Douglas Orr, de Cossy, Winder & Associates, Mr. de Cossy designed a number of significant buildings, including the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven.

Mr. de Cossy’s career lagged until 1975, when he resurfaced as a builder of wooden sailboats. He had a comeback five years ago, designing several homes, and is now retired, currently building a 20-foot cruising sailboat with his daughter in North Branford, Conn.

 

Julia, the Ambassador

17 Oct

Julia Louis-Dreyfus wears the perfect tee. It’s not because it was designed by Wes Gordon of Carolina Herrera — although that’s a plus. It’s because 100 percent of this $35 T-shirt goes to charity.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the 2018 Saks Fifth Avenue Key to the Cure Ambassador, where this shirt is sold.

“I’m a breast cancer survivor so that is a huge part of my involvement with Saks’ Key To The Cure,” stated KTTC Ambassador Julia Louis-Dreyfus. “And, I’m absolutely thrilled that the AiRS Foundation is the beneficiary of the sales of the limited edition Key To The Cure t-shirt. Every penny from the t-shirt sales benefits the foundation, which helps women who are unable to afford breast reconstruction surgery post-mastectomy.”

I had to order this t-shirt at my local Saks store. The website said it was sold out, but there is a wait list. Note: It runs very small!

 

Memorable Memoirs

7 Oct

These two timely, immigrant stories transported me to countries I will never visit –Yeman and North Korea. The stories are compelling, suspenseful and inspiring.

Hyeonseo Lee grows up in North Korea revering the leader.
When she becomes a teenager, she sees that others are hungry and senses something is wrong. She walks across a frozen river to China. There she finds a new world and a new life on the run. Her identity needs to change often in order to be safe.

Mohammed Al Samawi is a devout Muslim in Yemen, but he becomes curious about other faiths when he reads the Bible. He connects on social media with Christians and Jews. He then receives death threats for communicating with the enemy. He escapes with the help of his new interfaith friends.

 

On the Fringe

24 Aug

I just returned from Edinburgh — a fairy-tale city. It happened to be the annual Fringe Festival. It’s a visual treat and celebration of arts and culture. The entire city participates from street performers to live plays to booths selling books, fashion and art. Artists and authors are abound in this cabaret setting.

What’s the best selling point? It’s for the entire family — all ages. I personally went to see Kafka for Kids with my granddaughter. Yes, it was a Kafkaesque experience — fun, delightful and meaningful. (Not sure Franz had that in mind!)

The New York Times reports the 2018 Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award is the play Ulster American by David Ireland. The play ponders “how men are reacting to a world in which women are increasingly empowered.”

This play was one of 1,000 plays from the Fringe this summer. For more award news from the New York Times, please click here.

If you love theater and culture, the 2019 Fringe Festival should be on your travel wish list.

Better than Butter!

24 Jul

So you want to eat healthy? Former Motowner  and family friend Aidan Altman along with his partner Andrew McClure have created a product that’s vegan, healthy and a butter substitute. You know that gooey liquid found in a can of chickpeas? Well, they have combined it with coconut oil to make Faba Butter.

It was recently on the Today show as one of 15 new healthy snacks this summer.

The New York Times just featured Faba Butter in the article, “I can’t believe it’s chickpeas,” by Florence Fabricant. Read it here for more details as it’s even effective for sauteing and or just perfect with a baguette.

 

 

Beauty Box Fashion

Beauty Product Review

Meghan's Mirror

Meghan Markle Fashion Blog | Chronicling Meghan's Chic, Classic and Casual Style

Mara Movies

Fun, Fashion, Frivolity: An insider guide to Metro Detroit and beyond

snapshotsincursive

Interesting stories about everyday moments.

Motown Savvy

Fun, Fashion, Frivolity: An insider guide to Metro Detroit and beyond

Chevrons & Éclairs

Fun, Fashion, Frivolity: An insider guide to Metro Detroit and beyond

%d bloggers like this: